What is the Doctor’s TARDIS in Doctor Who and how does it work?

Time and Relative Dimension in Space, or TARDIS, is a central element to our favourite – and let’s face it the iconic – British BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who. The TARDIS is not just a time-traveling machine but also a symbol of adventure, exploration, and the incredible universe that awaits fans in every episode.

But how much do you really know about the TARDIS? Well, today we’re going to dig a little deeper and answer some of the main questions that people ask about the time machine that the Doctor has been using since 1963…

What is the Doctor’s TARDIS in Doctor Who?

The Doctor’s TARDIS is a highly advanced time-traveling spaceship created by the Time Lords, an ancient and powerful race from the planet Gallifrey. The Doctor, a renegade Time Lord, stole this particular TARDIS and has since used it to travel across time and space, exploring countless worlds and helping those in need.

Why does the TARDIS look like a Police Box?

The TARDIS is famous for its exterior, which resembles a 1960s British police box. The police box design is a result of the TARDIS’s malfunctioning Chameleon Circuit, which we’ll explore more later. The exterior’s small size and simple appearance are in stark contrast to the vast and complex interior that awaits within.

It’s bigger on the inside?

One of the TARDIS’s most interesting and discussed features is its ability to be “bigger on the inside” due to Time Lord trans-dimensional engineering. The interior has near-infinite space and can change its layout and design based on the Doctor’s preferences or needs (and we see it change throughout the series). The TARDIS interior features various rooms and facilities, including living quarters, a library, a swimming pool, and even a wardrobe.

What is the Console Room?

The heart of the TARDIS lies in its Console Room, where the Doctor operates the controls to navigate through time and space. The Console Room’s design has evolved over the years, reflecting the show’s changing aesthetics and the personalities of the different Doctors. The central console contains various instruments, levers, and buttons that the Doctor uses to pilot the TARDIS and are often featured in fast-paced scenes in the show when the TARDIS is landing and taking off.

How does the TARDIS travel through space and time?

The TARDIS is powered by an energy source called the Eye of Harmony (also known as Rassilon’s Star, the Eye of Time or the Great Eye), a collapsing star held in a state of suspended decay. This power allows the TARDIS to traverse the Time Vortex, a dimensional plane outside of normal time and space. The Doctor inputs the desired destination into the console, and the TARDIS dematerialises from its current location, rematerialises at the new location, and vice versa.

Is the TARDIS sentient?

The TARDIS is not just a machine but a sentient being with a telepathic link to the Doctor. The TARDIS can communicate with the Doctor and sense his thoughts and intentions, providing valuable information or assistance during their adventures. The TARDIS’s telepathic circuits also allow it to translate various languages for the Doctor and his companions, making communication with alien species seamless.

What is the The Chameleon Circuit?

The TARDIS is equipped with something known as a Chameleon Circuit, a feature designed to blend the TARDIS’s exterior with its surroundings, making it virtually undetectable no matter where is lands in space and time. However, the Doctor’s TARDIS has a malfunctioning Chameleon Circuit, causing it to remain stuck in the form of a 1960s British police box. Despite the Doctor’s various attempts to repair the Chameleon Circuit, the TARDIS continues to retain its iconic appearance and therefore stands out wherever it goes.

The Doctor’s TARDIS is an integral part of Doctor Who’s lore and storytelling, serving as a constant companion to the Doctor and his companions and allies across sixty years of the programme. With its incredible capabilities, sentience, and timeless design, the TARDIS remains a beloved symbol of adventure and exploration for fans of the series. As we continue to follow the Doctor’s journeys through time and space, the TARDIS will undoubtedly remain at the heart of many fantastic stories and unforgettable moments.